Installation and Licensing

JDK dependency

Saxon on the Java platform now requires J2SE 5 (often called JDK 1.5) or later. It no longer works with JDK 1.4.


Saxon is now available in three editions: Home (HE), Professional (PE), and Enterprise (EE). The Home Edition is open-source, available free of charge, and runs without a license file. The Professional and Enterprise editions both require a license key obtainable from Saxonica.

The Saxon-SA product has been renamed Saxon-EE (for "Enterprise Edition") to reflect the fact that it contains many added-value features beyond schema-awareness: for example, streaming, XQuery Updates, compilation of queries to Java code, separate compilation of query libraries, and an advanced query optimizer.

The JAR and DLL files are renamed accordingly (for example saxon9ee.jar, saxon9ee.dll).

The Configuration class for Saxon-EE (previously com.saxonica.validate.SchemaAwareConfiguration) is now renamed com.saxonica.config.EnterpriseConfiguration. This change reflects that fact that use of this Configuration enables all features that are exclusive to Saxon-EE, of which schema-awareness is only one. The Configuration class for Saxon-PE is named com.saxonica.config.ProfessionalConfiguration, while that for Saxon-HE is simply net.sf.saxon.Configuration.

The JAXP factory classes for Saxon-EE (previously com.saxonica.SchemaAwareTransformerFactory and SchemaAwareXPathFactory) are renamed com.saxonica.config.EnterpriseTransformerFactory and com.saxonica.config.EnterpriseXPathFactory.

Similarly, Saxon-PE (professional edition) offers com.saxonica.config.ProfessionalTransformerFactory and com.saxonica.config.ProfessionalXPathFactory.

Some features that were previously available in the open-source product Saxon-B are not included in the Saxon-HE (home edition) product build. These features are all optional extras, in the sense that they are not required for conformance to the W3C or Java API standards. The relevant features are:

Some features that were previously available only in Saxon-SA are now available in Saxon-PE (without open source code). These include:

Schema-awareness is now a property of a compiled query, stylesheet, or XPath expression. By default, these executables are schema-aware if they contain an import schema declaration in the source code, or if a schema was imported programmatically into the static context for the compilation. If the executable is not schema-aware, then all the data supplied at run-time must be untyped. The reason for this is that there is a considerable performance penalty if it is not known statically whether data will be typed or untyped; therefore, code that is not explicitly declared to be schema-aware is now compiled to handle untyped data only. (This allows the type annotations xs:untyped, xs:anyType, and xs:untypedAtomic. Of these, xs:anyType will appear only in nodes constructed from within a query, and only when construction mode is "preserve".)

For XSLT a transformation can be set to be schema-aware, even if it does not import a schema, by setting the Configuration property FeatureKeys.XSLT_SCHEMA_AWARE to true. For XQuery, the same effect can be achieved by setting the Configuration property FeatureKeys.XQUERY_SCHEMA_AWARE.

The command-line interfaces Transform and Query will now load an enterprise configuration if they can (that is, if Saxon-EE and a valid license file can be located). The -sa option is now needed only to enable schema-awareness in a transformation or query that does not import a schema. This might be needed, for example, if the transformation or query uses untyped input but validates its output. The option is no longer needed to enable other Saxon-EE features such as advanced optimization or streaming.

Licensing changes

The notes below are non-normative: for definitive statements, you need to read the license text.

Saxon-PE and Saxon-EE (professional and enterprise editions) are available under commercial license terms. These impose the usual commercial restrictions, for example redistribution of the software is allowed only under an explicit agreement.

The open source product, Saxon-HE, is available under the same conditions as its predecessor, Saxon-B: that is, the Mozilla Public License.

The effect of this is that there are very few restrictions on applications built using Saxon-HE: the JAR file can be distributed with the application, and the application can be issued under any licensing terms you choose, whether commercial or open source. The only restriction you need to watch out for is that there is a requirement to distribute the notices contained in the notices directory whenever you distribute the JAR file itself. Some popular software distribution mechanisms such as maven are currently unable to satisfy this obligation.

License keys

Saxon-EE and Saxon-PE on .NET now uses the same license key files as Saxon on Java. For the time being, Saxon-EE on .NET will also work with previously issued .NET license keys, but all new license keys issued will be in cross-platform format.

For Saxon-EE and Saxon-PE on Java, it is no longer necessary for the directory containing the license key file to be on the classpath. Instead, the license file saxon-license.lic can be installed in the directory containing the saxon9ee.jar or saxon9pe.jar file, where Saxon will find it automatically. Saxon now looks first in this location, and then on the classpath.

Since the license key directory no longer needs to be on the classpath, the class net.sf.saxon.Transform is now the registered entry point for all three JAR files: saxon9he.jar, saxon9pe.jar, and saxon9ee.jar, making it possible to run all three products using the -jar option on the command line.

There has been some abuse of evaluation licenses, notably in developing countries. Two measures have been introduced to discourage the use of evaluation licenses for production work: